CREVE COEUR, Mo. — Middle school can be a confusing and awkward time in a kid's life, so being able to see the bigger picture at that age is nearly impossible. That's why what’s happening at Northeast Middle School in the Parkway School District is so special.
A food pantry and chicken coup are teaching students valuable life lessons outside of the classroom.
Jenna Lucas is a 7th grade social studies teacher at Northeast Middle.
There's a lot to be taught inside her classroom, but it's what’s happening outside the classroom where these 12- and 13-year-olds are learning the most.
"I think it’s pretty awesome that we have these chickens, and it’s very entertaining," one 7th grade boy said.
Aside from the obvious entertainment, the kids are learning about giving back and how food is made. Their chickens are lovingly named Mars and Venus. Soon, their eggs will go straight to the school's food pantry, which feeds hundreds of students in the Parkway School District.
"We're having fun while giving food to others," said one 7th grade student.
Inside the school’s food pantry, students fill bags with breakfast, lunch and dinner foods for their needy classmates to take home over the weekend.
"I can't imagine not having food at home and for the people that don't have food they get to take from what we're doing here," 7th grader Martha Kamau said.
As these young kids bag the food, they're reminded of the less fortunate.
"It makes me feel like I’m actually making a difference," said Kamau.
"Food is like a need, and if you don't have enough, it’s kind of sad seeing people who don't have enough food," said another.
The food pantry just opened in October of last year and already it feeds about 230 students in Parkway schools. It’s run solely on donations from the community. For more information and details on how to donate, click here.